My alarm went off at 6:10. I turned it off and closed my eyes. "Just for a second." I thought. "I need to pee, so I won't really go back to sleep." Routinely, Chico- my snorty, chubby little chihuahua will insist it's time to go out as soon as I've so much as stirred. He was my back up plan. Surely any second now. I rolled over and looked at the clock. 7:15. Dang it. Oh well.
No! Not 'Oh well!' You didn't run yesterday!
I did kettlebell swings and pushups and handstand practice. I tried to fix the car, and I cut things... with power tools. That's got to count for something.
Put your shorts on and get out that door.
Guh! I'll go later.
You have a super busy day ahead. You'll be pooped by the end of it and wouldn't you like to spend some guilt-free time with your husband tonight before he leaves for the weekend? If you leave now you could get 3 miles in before he leaves for work.
Ugh! Is 3 miles even worth it?
Three is better than nothing.
I hate it when you make sense.
Besides, you have to pee, remember? You're getting up anyway. Might as well make the best of it.
I stood on my front porch in my running clothes and stared at my Garmin. The satellite connection was synced up and ready to roll. Usually once I'm geared up and out the door, the rest just happens. Not today. I stood there in stillness, expressionless face gazing back and forth, unsure of where I wanted to go because I didn't want to go anywhere. Not true. I did want to stand on top of a mountain, but that wasn't happening in the next 30 minutes. Up. I'd go up and just loop the roads. But I kept going up. The nearest trail to my house. I'm sick of this roads business. Dirt. I need dirt.
I don't feel like running. My thighs are sore from sprints and kettlebells.
Then hike for a while. Just keep moving.
.....And I call myself a runner. Lazy, slow legs.
Hey! Be nice to yourself. Those legs are awesome. What? You think you can shame them into working harder?
And you think I can love them into churning up this dang hill? Stupid effing hill.
Kristyan, that is not you. And yes, I think you can. Give 'em a little love.
I know, I know. It's not me. You're right. C'mon legs. You gorgeous, awesome, powerful, hard working wonders. Let's go. Don't stop. We've got this.
My shoes churned up the sand as I fought gravity, my steps not slowing, but my body lagging in space. Churning, pushing, fighting, so much work to move at all. I reached the top of the hill. I knew this mountainside well enough to know what lay waiting at the top and greeted it with panting resign.
Nice work legs... and heart and lungs.
They were making themselves very apparent at that moment.
Next hill. Let's go. We'll hike this one.
As I topped out and consulted my watch, I realized it was time to head toward home. I spied a little off-shoot- a less used trail that I was unfamiliar with. I took it. Following along away from, and then back toward the main trail. It didn't take me anywhere different, but I was glad I'd taken it. I had tried something, and while it got me nowhere new, I had scratched an itch, satisfied a curiosity, and I knew what it held now. I never had to wonder about it again. And I had no nagging 'what ifs'. How's that for a life metaphor?
I started down a technical section at a good pace. Lots of loose rocks and gravel over old, packed, embedded stones. The type of stuff that silences conscious thought wandering and makes the whole of your existence live in that moment. Makes life as simple as foot placement. I felt a break in my mood. The release of tight, twisted things unraveling. Just move your feet. A smile started to play at the corners of my eyes.
Ahhhh... there it is.
The harsh, modern sound of a text message. I knew what it was. It was two of my favorite people saying goodbye. Aaron's parents were on the plane to Russia. Tightness threatened to take over my throat as tears stung my eyes. Just keep moving your feet. You are fine. Breathe. I let gravity take me down, interrupting it as little as possible with my footsteps. Gotta get home. I'm out of time. I pushed it down the hill, onto the pavement and through the neighborhood where my friends were going about their mornings. I greeted my next door neighbor, crossing paths with her as she finished her morning bike ride.
I was drenched. Salty. Cleansed. Not all better, but on my way for now.
553 ft of climb
13:50/mi average pace